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This post is sponsored by Atlantis Resort Bahamas.
Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas is right up there with Disney, as far as my kids are concerned. With its mile-long river rapids ride, exhilarating water slides and exotic marine life—Atlantis is hard to beat when it comes to family travel.
Sandy white beaches and stunning Caribbean views will appeal to parents, but good luck getting your little ones to leave the water park!
SheBuysTravel Tip: To plan a Bahamian getaway the whole family will love, read our VIP Tips for Atlantis Resort Bahamas. If this will be your first trip to the islands, be sure to read our Guide For First-Timers Visiting The Bahamas.
An Abundance of Family-Friendly Things To Do at Atlantis
Atlantis Paradise Island is kid heaven. There are activity pools and slides and rides for days.
The heart of the resort is an incredible 141-acre water park, and beyond that, kids can also snorkel, kayak with dolphins, watch sea lions play and go on a sea turtle excursion. Then they can explore the world’s largest open-air marine habitat and play on the resort’s pristine private beaches.
Before my first trip to Atlantis, I reached out to my friend, Christy Crockett Wisor, who lives in Virginia with her husband and two young kids. They had recently been to Atlantis for the second time—when Faith was 7 and Jake was 6—and I was curious why they loved it so much.
“Every time we discuss family vacations in our house my daughter chimes in (begs really) for us to make another trip to Atlantis,” says Crockett Wisor. “I asked her what she liked about it better than all of our other Caribbean vacations and she spends about 10 minutes sharing why we should go there again instead of another resort. The main and continuous theme being ‘it was just so much fun.'”
One thing Crockett Wisor loves about Atlantis: It’s such a family-friendly destination.
“There were so many children at the pool, water park and beach each day that it was very easy for my children to make friends and play with other children at the pools and during the poolside games. My daughter even made a pen pal back in 2020 who she is still writing and sending packages back and forth with two years later.”
Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Bahamas
Aquaventure is the main event at Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas.
Crockett Wisor says the water attractions were a huge draw for her kids. “In the words of my son, the water slides were ‘epic.’ I have to admit, even as an adult I loved the water slides. The Surge happened to be my favorite because it twisted down into the rapids which were super fun and exciting.”
Another advantage to nonstop water entertainment is that it winds down the energetic little people.
“The kids wore themselves out ping-ponging between the different water slides,” Crockett Wisor says. “And I felt very safe in letting them go between the different slides and check in every 30 minutes.”
I had a similar experience when I visited Aquaventure with my children, Poppy and Sam. The three of us went from tower slide to river ride, trying to tackle them all. Our family favorite was The Rapids River, a not-so-lazy river.
This mile-long river attraction is not for relaxing. Hold on to your tube because there are water surges, drops and rapids. You might well get dumped!
Power Tower Water Slides
Climb to the top of the 120-foot Power Tower for breathtaking views of the turquoise water below, and a high-speed tube slide called The Surge. Or you can try The Drop, a single- or double-tube slide that drops you through darkness.
These were favorites of my daring 12-year-old, Sam. Both rides end in the Rapids River.
This memorable water slide ends with a leisurely float through a glass tunnel through a shark tank. It was my 8-year-old daughter Poppy’s favorite.
The pools alone can keep you busy at Atlantis! With waterfalls and small slides, my kids had the most fun in the Mayan Temple Pool and The Grotto Pool. Younger kids will enjoy Splashers.
Cabanas are available to rent throughout the resort if you’d like a home base for your kids.
Atlantis Resort Activities for Kids
Take time to plan your day around the daily resort activities. Crockett Wisor recommends you make a schedule so you don’t miss a thing.
“There were disappointing moments when we would lose track of time in the water park and miss one of the children’s activities that the kids would be excited to do,” she says. “Each day there is a schedule of the day’s activities and my children would write down the different activities and times of the events in hopes that we would make them.”
“Some days we managed our time and other times we got lost in the enjoyment of the beach, water slides or one of the many pools and forgot about the crafts,” says Crockett Wisor. “Both of my children are big-time into crafts and loved taking breaks from the beach and water park to make drink coasters, decorate tote bags and make shell necklaces.”
Animal Experiences at Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Resort is home to the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, with 14 lagoons and aquariums filled with 50,000 aquatic animals. Strolling the grounds of the resort, you can see longnose sawsharks, stingrays and sea turtles.
There is no cost to watch the sea life at a distance, but there also are paid interactive experiences available. A portion of the proceeds from paid animal encounters goes to the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, which works to save sea species and their habitats throughout the Caribbean seas.
Stingray and Shark Feeding
If you’re looking for a free activity, be sure to check the daily scheduled feeding times at Stingray Lagoon, Predator Lagoon and The Ruins. You can also watch shark feeding at the Mayan Temple.
Located inside The Royal Tower, the dig is an indoor aquarium that is free to visit. In this themed attraction, you’ll wander through a dark maze of tunnels lined with giant tanks of eels, jellyfish, seahorses and lobster.
Here my kids had fun pretending to explore the sunken lost city of Atlantis and I enjoyed a break from the sun in the air conditioning.
At Dolphin Cay (pronounced “key”), you can visit dolphins and sea lions that were rescued during Hurricane Katrina.
Paid adventures include paddleboarding with dolphins and playtime with sea lions. You can also buy a beach pass to sit in the sand and watch the dolphins play.
Beaches and Lagoons
I had a hard time luring my kids away from the water slides and swimming pools to check out the many beaches and lagoons. But I found that buying a snorkel in the gift shop helped! If you plan ahead, you can save some money by bringing your own.
My daughter enjoyed snorkeling in the shallow water of Paradise Lagoon. This area has a lifeguard too, which makes it a relaxing spot for family fun.
Nothing beats the private beaches though. You can’t go to The Bahamas and not spend time with your toes in the sand! Choose from Cove Beach, Atlantis Beach or Paradise Beach.
Cove Beach was my favorite—we found beautiful shells and fossils there. An early morning stroll with a coffee in hand from the resort’s Starbucks was a perfect way to start each day.
Atlantis Kids Adventures
When it came to ending the day, Poppy and Sam were thrilled to head to Atlantis Kids Adventure without me. This kids club offers programming throughout the day, but my kids were keen to stay up late at the themed sleepless slumber party.
They ate dinner, played games, had too much sugar and stayed up late. A tween’s vacation dream come true.
If you have older kids, they can spend their evenings hanging out with new friends at CRUSH, the resort’s nightclub for teens.
Where To Stay With Kids
You really can’t go wrong when choosing where to stay at Atlantis Paradise Island. From the luxury suites in The Cove and The Royal, to more budget-friendly rooms in The Coral, to accommodations with kitchens in The Reef and Harborside Resort, all are kid-friendly options.
Bear in mind that the resort is expansive and the farther you stay from the action, the more walking you’ll have to do. Atlantis Resort does have a free shuttle, which can help. We loved riding the shuttle to Marina Village to eat dinner at Carmine’s.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Take advantage of the Atlantis Resort Kid Concierge. This service can give you information on everything from stroller rentals to kid-friendly fine dining options. It can also help you create a daily itinerary for your child.